My wife was telling me about a friend going through some rough times. Personal stuff. Emotional stuff. And she said it was sad. But I disagreed. What this friend is experiencing is certainly challenging, but hardly sad. She’s in a negative situation and needs to get out of it. She needs to find her own place, her own footing, her own voice. And while she may cry a lot about her circumstances, they will make her stronger. One day that friend will look back at this year and know that it was a good year because of what she learned about herself.
This year has been one of those years for me. It hasn’t been sad. But it has been challenging. I prefer to look at it in terms of victories, though. We had to put my father in a memory care home, but that was a victory over confusion. Now he doesn’t have to worry about keeping his finances and groceries straight. My mother passed, but that was a victory over pain, as she had suffered for years with cancer, COPD and spinal issues. I had a regular job I didn’t care for most of the year, but that was a victory over unemployment. Now I have a better job, and my editing business is getting busier and busier.
Every failure leads you down a road toward victory, as long as you keep walking or running or driving in good faith.
If you never experienced defeat, never saw blood, never witnessed suffering or death, then you’d never have thick skin. You’d never overcome. And you probably wouldn’t care.
Suffering makes us stronger. And it makes us care.